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Psychosocial Intervention

versão On-line ISSN 2173-4712versão impressa ISSN 1132-0559


BALCAZAR, Fabricio E. et al. An empowerment model of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities in the United States. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2014, vol.23, n.2, pp.145-150. ISSN 2173-4712.

People with disabilities are greatly underrepresented in the workforce, often face discrimination by employers, and often are not effectively served by the U.S. Vocational Rehabilitation System whose primary purpose is to get individuals with disabilities employed. Additionally, many individuals with disabilities face discrimination and/or fear of becoming a liability by business owners. The Chicago Add Us In (AUI) Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, created an entrepreneurship program for people with disabilities in order to counteract these barriers, promote empowerment and facilitate economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. The model includes a course on how to write a business plan, one-on-one business mentoring, technical assistance, start-up business grants, and assistance from a business incubator. In addition to the core program components, there was an emphasis on creating systems change in the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) to ensure program sustainability. In-depth case studies are offered to illustrate the process of consumer empowerment and the impact of the entrepreneurship program on the lives of the entrepreneurs who have participated thus far.

Palavras-chave : Entrepreneurship; Empowerment of individuals with disabilities; Micro-enterprises.

        · resumo em Espanhol     · texto em Inglês     · Inglês ( pdf )


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